CUSTER COUNTY— A preliminary hearing was held in Custer County Court on Wednesday, June 9 for 36-year-old Derrick Gonzalez who is accused of alleged violation of Nebraska certificate title act and willful evasion of sales tax, both Class IV Felonies.
During Wednesday’s hearing, special prosecutor Marty Klein called the only witness of the afternoon, Marcus Siebken, who is an Investigator with the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Fraud Unit. According to Inv. Siebken’s testimony, he had been made aware of a situation by the Custer County Treasurer of a potential title jumping case.
Through his investigation, Inv. Siebken said he had contacted a number of individuals about the sale of a Yamaha motorcycle that had been purchased by Gonzalez, but he had failed to pay the sales tax with the purchase. He then sold the motorcycle to another individual, which according to Inv. Siebken, is common practice for those trying to avoid the taxes so they can make money off the sale without paying taxes.
During cross-examination, Gonzalez, who represented himself, attempted to ask a number of questions including if the County Court had jurisdiction in the case, if Inv. Siebken had the authority to conduct investigations, and if the investigator had the proper training and credentials to conduct investigations such as this one. Gonzalez also objected to a number of questions and evidence that was entered by Klein with nearly all of the objections being overruled.
Prior to the decision by Judge Joel Jay, Gonzalez left the courtroom and was not present when the case was bound to Custer County District Court. Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned on July 1 at 9:30 AM.
If found guilty of all charges, he could face up to four years in prison and be fined up to $20,000.